Grammy Predictions: Who Will Win?


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by DeeJay Rolison

The 59th annual Grammy awards ceremony is creeping up on us, and it’s going to be a close race this year amongst all of the contenders. The ceremony, hosted by James Corden, will be held on Sunday, February 12th, and will feature performances by current nominees Adele, Carrie Underwood, and The Weeknd, to name a few. I’m going to take a moment to break down the Big 4 categories (Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist) and determine who I think will take home Grammy gold.

 

Album of The Year

This award is arguably the biggest award given every year. It’s gone to such pivotal albums in the past as Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette, 21 by Adele, and Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. It’s meant to go to the album that represents the year in music and stands out amongst its competitors. The Recording Academy vote using this mantra: The Album of The Year is awarded to honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position.

The Nominees:

  • 25 (Adele)
  • Lemonade (Beyoncé)
  • Views (Drake)
  • Purpose (Justin Bieber)
  • A Sailor’s Guide To Earth (Sturgill Simpson)

Who should win?

Beyoncé should take home the award this year without question. Her album pushed boundaries and expanded the level of artistry that she hadn’t hit before. It doesn’t hone in on any one specific genre, but rather takes highlights from tons of different genres like pop, rock, R&B, country, alternative, and hip-hop. Lemonade is set up in a perfect story arc, outlining the realization of a black woman finding out about infidelity and then coming full circle to forgive her lover. Lemonade is a piece of art that has phenomenal features that only push the album forward. It was the 2016-year-end number one album for over 20 different music publications for a reason. Queen Bey is overdue for this award and it’s about time we rectified that.

Who will win?

The Grammys have been known to surprise us before and give this award to someone completely left field (yes, I’m referring to the 2015 ceremony where AOTY went to Beck rather than Beyoncé.) While the award should go to Queen Bey, we can’t count out any of the other nominees. Adele is a Grammy favorite (she has 10 awards already) and took home AOTY once before in 2012. 25 was a massive commercial success, selling 3.8 million copies in its first week, making it the best sales week for any album ever. However, Adele’s third album was not nearly as critically successful as 21, so she might not get the win due to voters preferring her past album.

While we shouldn’t count Drake or Justin Bieber out, their albums didn’t receive as much praise as the other three. That brings us to Beyoncé’s biggest competition this year: Sturgill Simpson. His alt-country album will most likely satisfy the older Grammy voters who feel that less songwriters and producers makes for a better album. When you break it down, Sturgill will most likely get most of the rock and country vote, Beyoncé and Drake will split the hip-hop and R&B vote, and Adele and Justin Bieber will split the pop vote.

 

Song of The Year

Song of The Year is awarded to the songwriters each year, rather than the performer. It’s meant to go to the song that proved the most artistic and the best structurally. It has been awarded to some massive songs before like “Always On My Mind” by Willie Nelson, “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion, and, most recently, “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran.

The Nominees:

  • “Hello” by Adele (written by Adele Adkins and Greg Kurstin)
  • “Formation” by Beyoncé (written by Beyoncé Knowles, Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, & Michael L. Williams II)
  • “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” by Mike Posner (written by Mike Posner)
  • “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber (written by Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, & Benjamin Levin)
  • “7 Years” by Lukas Graham (written by Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard & Morten Ristorp)

Who should win?

The two most qualified to win this award are Adele and Justin Bieber. Adele’s soaring “Hello” topped the charts all over the world and satisfied the public’s need for more of her melancholy breakup tracks. It debuted at #1 in the United States, the UK, and nearly anywhere else that Adele’s music has reached. The single, only a little over a year old, is already certified platinum. It is a massive arrangement and the songwriting is expert, with Adele and Greg Kurstin coming together to produce one of the year’s biggest hits. Bieber has a slight hand up on Adele because he hasn’t won this award before. The Recording Academy seem to always look at artists who haven’t won the award before, especially when their new work is such a jump forward from their past releases. Bieber probably deserves to win a little more than Adele for the sheer fact that he stepped out of his usual pop/R&B spectrum and produced an acoustic pop track that dominated airwaves.

Who will win?

Since the Grammys are so unpredictable, the award really could go to anyone. With that being said, it looks like Adele and Bieber might be the frontrunners still. Beyoncé’s “Formation” is a bit too politically charged and controversial so it’s not likely to take home this one. “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” and “7 Years” are left-field contenders but don’t count them out just yet. It’s really anyone’s game for this one.

 

Record of the Year

This award is the more commercially packed one of them all, usually nominating and awarding songs that are popular and successful to the public. To break it down, this award goes to the most popular of songs, and is awarded to the artist, producers, and engineers. Some of the past winners include “Beat It” by Michael Jackson, “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston, and “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum.

The Nominees:

  • “Hello” by Adele
  • “Formation” by Beyoncé
  • “7 Years” by Lukas Graham
  • “Work” by Rihanna (featuring Drake)
  • “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots

Who should win?

This is one of the categories where the award could go to anyone. The two biggest songs from the list (based on charts and commercial success) are “Hello” and “Work”. The latter might have a hand up in this category because Rihanna was excluded from the Album and Song of the Year categories this year. It was a massive success and even managed to be a critical one as well. If we’ve learned anything, though, it’s not to count out Adele at any point. She could easily snatch this trophy.

Who will win?

Since this category is such a hard one to pinpoint, lets break it down. “Formation” and “Work” will battle it out for the hip-hop and R&B voters’ decision, while “Hello” and “7 Years” will definitely battle it out for the pop vote. “Stressed Out” stands alone in the alternative and rock votes and could easily claim their first win in this category. Since there are no country songs nominated, which usually doesn’t happen, all of those votes will be distributed amongst the nominees, where Adele will most likely take the bulk of those votes due to widespread appeal. This category really is up in the air.

Best New Artist

Arguably one of the more crucial awards, this one is going to be a challenge. A person can only be nominated once in their career, and that means they have to have a massive debut. With only five nominees every year, they are almost always at the top of their prospective genres and that makes for a very tight race. Some of the past winners in this category include The Beatles, Mariah Carey, Carrie Underwood, and Sam Smith.

The Nominees

  • Maren Morris
  • Chance The Rapper
  • The Chainsmokers
  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Anderson .Paak

Who should win?

Chance The Rapper deserves to take home this win. His monumental mixtape, Coloring Book, is a magnificent, unprecedented hip-hop release and touches on Chance’s personal life while maintaining a level of wit and cleverness that fans have come to expect from his music.

Who will win?

Like we’ve said, the Grammy voters are hard to follow. They USUALLY give the award to the biggest new artist of the year (Adele in 2009, Sam Smith in 2015) but they can definitely come out and give the award to someone that most pop culture savants don’t know as well (Esperanza Spalding in 2011, Bon Iver in 2012). While Chance The Rapper is a standout in the hip-hop world, Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini dominated the country music scene, Morris more so than Ballerini, and The Chainsmokers had one of the biggest songs of the year and dominated pop radio. Anderson .Paak is this year’s left field contender, but that doesn’t mean that the R&B/funk artist won’t take home the trophy. No matter how it goes, all five artists are deserving of this award.

 

 

 

 

Written by

Capricorn. Hufflepuff. Pop culture junkie. Aspiring music journalist. And probably the biggest Britney Spears fan in Mississippi.

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